One of the leading causes of tire failure and casing rejection during the retread process is a faulty repair. This area is most often overlooked when fleets design tire maintenance programs, but as a recent survey from the monthly magazine Tire Business indicates, 46% of tire failures were caused by improper repair procedures. Of course this means higher tire costs.

Tire Repairs

When a radial tire has been damaged to the point where the steel cords are exposed to the elements it is important that the area be repaired as soon as possible so that moisture is not allowed to migrate along the belt package causing further damage.

The most effective method of repair for nail holes (1/4″) is the plug and patch repair. The plug stops the migration of moisture and the patch on the inside of the tire supports the plug. For repairs larger than a nail hole (3/8″ and larger) the tire should be removed from service.

This method of repair not only reduces the number of tire failures but promotes casing recovery as well.

Tire Balance

Maintaining the tire balance on your vehicle is critical to receiving satisfactory service from your tire investment. In addition to providing a smooth ride, balancing is a key component in tire wear.

The weight of the wheel and tire should be balanced evenly around the axle. Even a tiny difference in balance—less than an ounce—can create vibration in a tire that’s turning hundreds of times per minute. And when you multiply by 4 or more wheels, it adds up.

Tire Rotation

Tire rotation refers to the regular practice of switching the position of each tire on the car. Tire rotation helps to equalize tread wear and is critical to gain the maximum life from your tire investment.

Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended rotation interval and pattern; generally a rotation interval of 6,000 miles is recommended. The rotation pattern varies with different makes and models, which shows the tire locations during rotation. Some vehicles have different size tires on the front and back or directional tires. This limits the locations that a tire may take on the vehicle. When in doubt, check the owner’s manual or consult a professional technician for guidance. Tire rotation time also offers a good opportunity to have the tires and wheels balanced. It’s another step you can take to maximize your tire investment.

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